Children are smarter and more intuitive than you think. They know when something is going on and will likely figure out the situation pretty quickly. Accordingly, it is important to be up-front and open with them as soon as you make the decision to get a divorce or to separate.
The conventional wisdom is that the family should be together; both parents and all children. Here is a set by step plan of how to tell them:
- Make sure both parents are on the same page. Your children will suffer if you cannot be civil when you are doing this. Try to avoid attributing blame or providing too many details.
- As you’ve probably noticed mom and dad (choose which ever apply)
Haven’t been spending a lot of time with each other lately
Haven’t been getting along with each other lately
Haven’s been sleeping in the same room with each other
- Mommy and daddy don’t love each other anymore the way people who stay married need to love each other. Therefore we have decided to get a divorce/separate.
- You know that we both love you very much and will always love you. Parents always love their children, this never changes
- This has nothing to do with you. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this and there is nothing you can do to change this. This is between mommy and daddy.
- Daddy/Mommy is going to move out (indicate the time and place of move out). Yo will spend time with each of us at each of our houses.
- (where appropriate) – However, most things will stay pretty much the same – you will go to the same school; you will have the same friends; you’ll still spend time in this house and you will also have another house with mommy/daddy.
- This is nothing to be embarrassed about. You can tell your friends or anybody else if you want to.
- Do you have any questions?
Have faith in yourself you can do this.